China - Renewable energy market hits record

Renewable energy sector earns a record $30 billion

The renewable energy sector earned a record $30 billion and provided 4 percent of global electricity last year, according to a report to be issued Monday at an international energy conference in Beijing. "Technologies such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydro projects now provide 160 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity, about 4 percent of the world total," the US-based Worldwatch Institute said Sunday in a press release on its report, published on behalf of the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century. "Renewable energy has become big business," said lead author Eric Martinot, an energy expert at the Worldwatch Institute, who produced the report with some 100 researchers in 20 countries. Renewable energy industries now employ some 1.7 million people, with leading energy firms such as General Electric, Siemens, Sharp, and Royal Dutch Shell already developing the technology, said an advance copy of "Renewables 2005: Global status report".

Nearly 40 million households worldwide heat their water with solar collectors, most of them installed in the last five years, it said. "The Beijing conference aims to build on the momentum started at the international renewable energy conference held in June 2004 in Bonn as a follow-up to the Johannesburg (2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development) agreements," said a statement from the European Union, which is a major participant in the conference. Officials at the conference will make preparations for next April's UN meeting to review progress since Johannesburg.

They plan to issue a pledge to "substantially increase, with a sense of urgency, the global share of renewable energy in the total energy supply", according to a draft of the "Beijing declaration on renewable energy for sustainable development". EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas is scheduled to speak at the conference and discuss plans for the annual global conference on climate change, to be held in Montreal next month. Dimas will also sign an agreement for an EU grant of 30 million euros to the E.U.-China Biodiversity Programme, the EU said.

Online Editorial Journalist, www.windfair.net
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
China, EU, wind energy, wind turbine, wind farm, renewable energy, wind power, rotorblade, offshore onshore

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